For me, pancakes are the side and never the main event. So this week, I'm pitting three restaurants' two-cake stacks of basic buttermilk pancakes against each other as they come with the entree: no blueberries, chocolate chips or whipped cream here.
Also, I'm not judging the quality and taste of the syrup, as all three places seem to use a standard pancake (not actual maple) syrup, of which I use little, if any.
Double Yolk Pancake House, 11400 Lincoln Hwy., Mokena
The pancakes at Double Yolk were light (in both color and texture) and fluffy. Although they weren't raw in the middle, they were darn close, and because they were so soft, the second the butter and syrup hit them they became mushy.
The good: Large, tasty pancakes were beautifully presented, including a dusting of powdered sugar.
The bad: They could have stood another minute on the griddle.
Lumes Pancake House, 20594 S. LaGrange Road, Frankfort
The pancakes at Lumes were less impressive in appearance than Double Yolk, although they also were dusted with powdered sugar; they just couldn't compete with Double Yolk's fluffiness. Unfortunately, the powdered sugar contributed to the pancakes's chalky texture.
The good: Good pancakes served with remarkable speed and chipper service.
The bad: A slightly chalky texture was a minor turnoff.
Mattina Cafe and Pancake House, 426 E. Lincoln Hwy., New Lenox
The pancakes at Mattina were lightly cooked and not dusted with powdered sugar, but the adorable purple plate they were served on more than made up for the lack in the presentation's appeal.
The good: Delicately textured and flavored pancakes.
The bad: Even without powdered sugar or syrup, Mattina's pancakes are a bit too far on the sweet side.
WINNER: Double Yolk's pancakes. Although they were a bit underdone for my taste, their fluffiness and taste indicate the best batter recipe of the three.
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Next week, while it's still a bit nippy, we're trying soups. Who has the best soup in the area? We're open to any variety: broth or cream based soups, chowders, even bisques. Just please, no split pea! Is there a place you've been curious about in Frankfort, Mokena or New Lenox, but want us to be your guinea pig? Commenting below automatically enters you to win a $50 gift card to a featured restaurant.